People fill fuel on a daily basis but do not worry about the quality, whatsoever. With advancements in technology, automobile engines are getting refined which demands better fuel to run. Every oil and gas company out there have developed different types of fuel for different kind of vehicles or purpose. So what are the different types of fuels available in the market? What is a fuel Octane rating/number and how does it matter? Which fuel should you use for your vehicle? We will discuss everything in detail.
Fuel Octane rating/number
First, let’s understand what an Octane number is. In automobile engines where the petrol and air mixture (or the charge) is compressed before ignition (mostly in petrol engines) there is a chance of pre-ignition of the charge which causes engine knocking. It is basically uneven burning of fuel which has high chances of damaging your engine.
Octane number is nothing but an anti-knock rating of the fuel i.e the ability of the fuel not to prematurely ignite and cause a knock. Higher the octane number, lower the chance of fuel to prematurely ignite. Hence the fuel is ignited by the spark plug and the combustion is even in a regulated pocket resulting in higher efficiency and performance. So high Octane fuels are preferably used in high-performance automobiles.
Normal fuel has an Octane number of 87 and above that, we have premium fuel with an Octane number of 91. High-performance fuels are the 93 Octane petrol, 95 Octane petrol, 97 Octane petrol and 100 Octane petrol. Although high Octane fuels are better for your vehicles, they are expensive and not available in all fuel stations. The 97 and 100 Octane fuels are very hard to find as only a select few stations in tier-1 cities sell them.
Different high-performance fuels
High-performance fuel not only improves the performance of an automobile, but it also improves fuel efficiency, reduces CO2 emissions, reduces the deposits in the fuel system and in turn reduce the maintenance cost.
India has a collection of brands supplying fuel across the nation. Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, HP, Shell Plc, etc are some of the well-known fuel brands in India.
The fuel is processed differently or have different additives present in them depending on the makers. A 95 Octane petrol in Shell and IOCL will not be the same. So let’s take a look at different high-performance fuels from different suppliers.
Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL)
Indian Oil, along with their regular fuel also sell the XP95 petrol (introduced last year) and the XP100 high-performance fuels. India Oil XP95 petrol price is more than the regular petrol. Whereas the XP100 petrol is their premium fuel that is priced around Rs 160/- per litre.
Bharat Petroleum (BPCL)
Bharat Petroleum sells the Speed fuel which happens to be 91 Octane. They also have the Speed97 fuel, like the name suggests it is 97 Octane fuel.
The British brand Shell Plc is one of the best energy suppliers across the world. Their well known DYNAFLEX Formulation or technology is used to develop all of their fuels. Shell provides Unleaded petrol and V-Power petrol in India. Unleaded being 91 Octane cost Rs 106.9/- per litre and the V-Power is the 97 Octane priced at Rs. 116.4/- per litre (in Bangalore as of today).
You need to check the owner’s manual to see what kind of fuel to use in your vehicle. Using higher octane fuel than recommended is not an issue because of their improved properties which come at an additional cost. But never use a lower octane fuel than recommended, it could damage your engine and cost more to fix it in the long run.
1. Is it hard to find the Indian Oil XP95 Petrol?
Yes, as of June 2021 the XP95 petrol is available in 12,000 IOCL retail outlets across India.
2. Will diesel fuel also have an Octane number?
No, diesel fuel will have a Cetane number instead of Octane which is completely different. It is a measure of the ignition value of the diesel i.e the capability of the fuel to ignite without any source of ignition.